The Demerara Window – the Colonial Air Conditioner – By Murtland Haley
Before Independence in 1966, Guyana, then British Guiana was a colony of Britain. Berbice, Essequibo and Demerara were controlled and occupied by the Dutch, Spanish and French before being ceded to the British in 1814.
In 1831, Essequibo-Demerara and Berbice were combined as one colony, British Guiana. Based on the occupation and colonisation of Guiana by these European nations, much of the initial architectural designs would have been influenced by European style and culture. The buildings bearing these qualities which have survived until today can be described as historic.
Therefore, Guyana’s architectural legacy would be a combination of architectural styles from these colonisers. However, since Britain was the last to leave, Victorian architecture dominated. These styles would have been altered somewhat to accommodate the climatic conditions specific to Guyana. Continue reading